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What are beaded beads?

What are beaded beads? And how to make them, by Katie Dean, Beadflowers

Last week, I announced my personal challenge for 2019. Anyway, it occurred to me that, since I’m going to be creating 50 patterns on this topic this year, perhaps I should consider what are beaded beads?

Do you know? How would you define a beaded bead if someone asked you?

Well, I’m not sure if there is a technical definition, but here is my definition…

Crystal Beaded Bead Pattern, Katie Dean, BeadflowersGet the crystal beaded beads pattern here>>

What are beaded beads – according to Katie?

I once had to teach a little beading workshop to a handful of non-beaders. So, I started out with a really short talk to try and explain what beads are and what beading involves. This actually led to some very interesting research for me.

I discovered that, technically, a bead is defined as ‘an object with a hole through it that you can string’. So, that makes for a pretty broad range of potential ‘beads’. Which would be right. If you think back to Stone Age times, then a bead could be a Sabre Tooth Tiger’s tooth with a hole drilled through it.

In fact, this probably is the earliest type of man-made bead. And, it also sets up some of the rituals around beads and jewellery that have continued through time. Namely, using these to advertise wealth or status – or in this case, prowess as a hunter.

Anyway, I digress… But the point of that is to set up my definition of what are beaded beads.

If I am saying that a bead is any object with a hole through, then a beaded bead is simply an object with a hole through it, made out of beads.

I’m using the images in this post to share a few examples of the diversity of beaded beads. You might even be surprised to see some of these. But the thing that differentiates them from a simple 3-D ornament, is that hole which enables them to be strung.

GemDuo Beaded Bead Bracelet Pattern, Katie Dean, BeadflowersGet the GemDuo beaded beads pattern here>>

How do you make beaded beads?

Now that I’ve given you a working definition of what are beaded beads, the next logical question must be, how to make them.

Are beaded beads made with special techniques?

The short answer is, ‘no’. You can use literally any bead-weaving or wirework technique to make a beaded bead. Remember, you are just trying to create an object with a hole through.

This actually makes beaded beads a really good project for getting to learn a new technique. They are usually quick to make. Plus, if you want to create some jewellery, you will need several beaded beads. So, this gives you the opportunity to practise your technique over and over.

Liquorice Allsorts Pattern BraceletGet the liquorice allsorts beaded beads pattern here>>

Do you have to use special beads?

You might be thinking that beaded beads are restricted to beads made with bicones, or with traditional seed beads. You might also be thinking that you have to cover a wooden or plastic form in order to make a beaded bead.

Well, yes, all of these things can apply. But you can use any type of bead to make a beaded bead. You simply need to find a way to create a structure that you will be able to string.

So, as with the techniques, beaded beads are also a great way to try out a new type of bead. Typically, you won’t need a great number of beads to make a beaded bead.

This also makes them great projects for stash-busting. So, if you’re wondering what to do with those odd few seed beads left at the bottom of your tube, try turning them into a beaded bead.

Honeycomb Beaded BeadsGet the Honeycomb beaded bead pattern here>>

Beaded Bead Pattern Number 2

That brings me neatly to my second new beaded bead pattern. This is a traditional idea, using seed beads to create a cover for a 20mm wooden bead.

So, you can certainly use this pattern for stash-busting! You need just 1-2g in each colour and actually, only 24 beads in one of the colours. Plus, you can create different pattern designs that use up even more colours in small quantities.

Get this beaded beads pattern here>>

Hopefully, this has enlightened you. So, the next time someone asks you, ‘what are beaded beads?’, you’ll have a simple answer for them! I’ll be back next week to share the reasons why I think everyone should love beaded beads!…and to share my next beaded bead pattern.

Browse all the beaded bead patterns here>>

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